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Front Brake Bleed Technique That Works for Me

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Front Brake Bleed Technique That Works for Me

PostAuthor: Klastermon » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:40 pm

I recently bought a 1982 XV 750 that had been sitting for some time, and one of it's many issues was that the front brake system was non-functional. There's nothing quite so fun as pushing an XV up the driveway with the front brake locked up! Unless you do it in the snow, like I did.
Anyway, I ended up draining the front brake fluid and replacing it along with the brake pads, and cleaning everything up. Here are some thoughts, and what I learned:
* I saw one post where the person said they were riding around without a front brake... now THAT is Crazy!
* I did not replace any internal components. no new wheel kit, no master cylinder kit... just new pads and a careful and thorough cleaning.
* "Cleaning everything up" is important... Be clean. use clean rags, clean work space, clean fluids... clean clean clean.
* As several folks have noted here in the forum, I spent a long time in the bleeding process without much change. But I disagree with, and did not use, the technique of opening the bleed screw then squeezing the lever. As with bleeding auto brakes, (in the old days, this was a regular thing, back before disks) the way I was taught, is to squeeze a few times (slowly), hold squeezed, open the bleed screw, close the bleed screw, release. a short piece of clear tubing on the bleed screw will retain a bit of fluid in it, let you drain it into a waste container (never re-use it!) and will let you see the bubbles come popping out.
* In the case of the Virago, using this technique got most of the air out of the lower end, the slave cylinder, but the brake was still non-functional, so I tried the Crazy Front Brake Bleed Technique mentioned idea of zipping the lever down over night. One night, anyway, without any real success.
*I didn't want to spend the next week bleeding the danged brakes... I've got things to do! And my assumption was that air was trapped in the top end of the system, up at the master cylinder.
* So, Using the same technique: squeeze (slowly...) several times ~ hold ~ Crack the system open ~ close the system~ release the lever. BUT, instead of cracking the system open at the bleed screw, I stuffed a rag under the master cylinder and just relieved the connecting hose fitting. Sure enough, all that air that was trapped at the top end of the hose started bubbling out.
After half a dozen times doing that, I had good brakes, and after a couple of times more, once again cracking open the bleeder screw, I had great brakes.
A final thought... It was probably significant that I got most of the air out of the lower portion of the system first before trying to get that last bit out of the top end... seems like otherwise you would be fighting it all the way down.

Ride long, and prosper! :bg:
Turning a 1982 XV750J barn find into a barn stormer.

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
- Mark Twain

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Re: Front Brake Bleed Technique That Works for Me

PostAuthor: Jake » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:13 pm

Rather than have your post tacked onto Crazy Front Brake Bleed Technique , I split your post to a new thread and made a slight edit by providing a link to the Crazy Front Brake Bleed Technique and re-titled it.

If you want a different title, you can change it, but I thought your post deserved it's own thread.
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Re: Front Brake Bleed Technique That Works for Me

PostAuthor: Klastermon » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:00 pm

Jake wrote:Rather than have your post tacked onto Crazy Front Brake Bleed Technique , I split your post to a new thread and made a slight edit by providing a link to the Crazy Front Brake Bleed Technique and re-titled it.

If you want a different title, you can change it, but I thought your post deserved it's own thread.


Thanks Jake.
No worries! I'm interested to know how others fare using the technique I've outlined.
Turning a 1982 XV750J barn find into a barn stormer.

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
- Mark Twain

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Re: Front Brake Bleed Technique That Works for Me

PostAuthor: Jake » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:21 pm

It's been my experience that a lot of people don't read beyond the 1st post in a thread, and I base that on the replies posted.

So, based on my observations, and the length of your post (some people hate to read), it would be a disservice you if I wouldn't have moved it.
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“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
~Mark Twain



Forum Tutorials can be found here http://viragotechforum.com/viewforum.php?f=177

Forward Control Templates ( FREE ) http://viragotechforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=124&t=21556
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Re: Front Brake Bleed Technique That Works for Me

PostAuthor: john1951 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:17 pm

The best want to clean brake systems is with meths just keep topping up the res until you get nice clean fluid through just nip the bleed valves so there is a bit of resistance and back flush, same with brakes just nip the bleed valves top up res and allow fluid to drain throu system with plastic pipe into jamjar wait until all the air is expelled a quick couple of pulls with the brake lever and nip the bleed valves up job done.

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